GUEST BLOGGING ABOUT YOUR NEW RELEASE: How do you entice readers to leave a comment? By Maree Anderson (for Writers Gone Wild)
I've got a new release coming up in a month's time, so the publicity angle of being an author -- especially an e-pubbed author -- rears its time-sucking head yet again. So far I've got five scheduled guest blog posts or interviews to write, and although that doesn't sound like too much of a time-drain, believe me, I spend hours trying to craft them so I don't come across like a raving loony bird or someone who's a bit freaked, or perhaps even jaded, by all this publicity stuff.
I'm incredibly proud of Let Sleeping Demons Lie, my new Red Sage novella. And of course I'm thrilled to bits and beyond to be handed the opportunity to talk about it -- what author isn't happy to wax poetic about her latest baby? But trying to make sure each post conveys my enthusiasm without blathering on and boring the heck out of everyone, while still giving the information that's needed to hook potential readers, isn't exactly easy!
And then there's always the distinct possibility that *horrors!* not a single person will leave a comment and I'll feel like I've let down the blog owner who invited me as a guest on their blog. Not to mention it'll be horribly embarrassing!
Of course anyone who has their own website/blog knows from their website stats that comments left doesn't necessarily equate with numbers of people visiting. And a guest poster could potentially draw lots of visitors, and yet not have a single comment posted.
But the poor old guest poster doesn't have that kind of info at her fingertips. To her, the measure of her guest blog's success is probably seeing the number of comments on her post. And a poor showing is likely gonna make her want to curl up beneath a blanket and scoff all those Easter Eggs she's stashed away in the cupboard for the kids.
Now I gotta admit, I'm guilty of lurking. I subscribe to a number of interesting blogs via RSS feed or newsletter. I read just about every post from those blogs, and the ones I don't read, I definitely skim through. But honestly, with the number of emails coming through my RSS feeds, Facebook and email loops on a daily basis, if I personally commented on every single blog post brought to my attention it'd be a full-time vocation. Like most authors involved with social networking these days, you simply have to exercise some discipline and limit your time, or you'll have no time for doing what you're supposed to be doing: Writing!
That said, personally, I rather like reading author interviews because the Q&A structure allows me to get a sense of who the author is, and get inside his or her head a bit more -- especially if the interview questions are quirky and clever! And I do really love it when I scan the comments and see that the guest blogger has checked in regularly and responded personally to comments. But that's just me.
So here are my question(s):
When it comes to author's promoting new releases, what kind of guest post makes you want to read the entire post and afterward, leave a comment?
Do you prefer:
a) Standard Q&A author interview type scenario.
b) Interview where the author is asked some "out of the box" fun and quirky questions, and goes "What the hey!" and gives some fun and quirky answers.
c) Interview where a character (or characters) from the book being promoted are answering the questions.
d) Standard guest blog situation, where the author gives a brief introduction, quotes the blurb, an excerpt, and details of where his/her new release can be purchased etc. (In other words, the blurb and excerpt speak for themselves.)
e) Guest blog situation where the author shares her inspiration for her new release and discusses her characters etc., as well as giving the blurb, excerpt, purchase details.
f) The main drawcard is that the guest blogger is offering a giveaway of his/her new release to one random commenter.
g) The guest blogger is offering a giveway of his/her new release but also encourages participation with commenters by asking them a fun or thought-provoking question.
h) Any other scenario I haven't thought of!
Would really appreciate your feedback!
(who, just quietly, will be holding off writing her guest blog posts until she sees what y'all think!)